MHKs supportive of marine centre plans

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The ‘dynamic’ plans to redevelop the former marine laboratory in Port Erin received the support of the three Rushen MHKs Phil Gawne, Laurence Skelly and Juan Watterson.

Last week, Sea Breezes submitted a plan to redevelop the site as a 20 room hotel, marine interpretation centre (run the Manx Wildlife Trust), offices for marine related businesses, cafe, dive centre and retail unit.

Mr Watterson said: ‘I support this visionary proposal. Being a mixed use facility with various commercial elements it bodes well for the business case to make it a viable long term proposition. The scale of investment is substantial and I believe the staged build-out of the development is entirely logical and makes good business sense.’

Mr Skelly, who has a long held ambition to realise a marine centre for the island, said: ‘My first choice [for the centre] was Port St Mary, but having conducted a feasibility study with Department of Economic Development and Manx Wildlife Trust it became apparent a suitable site and stand alone facility was simply not viable. Obvious synergies and the economic case to partner with Sea Breezes development made Port Erin more compelling.’

Mr Gawne said he was delighted to see a planning application come forth that captures the essence of a marine centre with strong educational ties with the rich marine life surrounding the Isle of Man.

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